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America 45, Us 28, United States 21, Madam 16, Delaware 15, Mr. Reid 14, U.s. 13, Mr. Mcconnell 10, Washington 9, Michigan 8, Levin 7, Ohio 6, China 6, South Carolina 5, Colorado 5, Wisconsin 5, Pentagon 4, Inouye 4, Illinois 4, Durbin 4,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    July 18, 2012
    9:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

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the aerospace industry that predicts a million jobs might be lost if this defense budget goes down. it is not a peer-reviewed study, it has not been done in any academically certifiable manner. it predicts that the cuts would be far deeper than what president obama has proposed. it doesn't look at the set of options. those that are immediately on the table. it sort of imagines a more serious set of cuts. there are other cuts. in other studies that say defense jobs are not the best -- they don't create the most benefit to the economy as a whole. and that people were reemployed from the defense industry, there would be other benefits --
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broader benefits to society. people don't, when they are looking at this question, they tend to look at it narrowly and not probably. and they look at the long-term consequences of shifting employment from one place to another. i think it is clear that, you know, the rhetoric about defense cuts and their impact on virginia will probably motivate the people who work in the defense industry in virginia to go to the polls and take a decision which might be seen as protecting their future. but the rest of virginians, i doubt will have much impact on them. >> i think there was a project with the missile defense that the majority of defense officials spoke out against, but congress passed it anyway. it will never actually get passed. i don't think you'll ever get to the senate.
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short of reelecting our officials, what are some ways that we can eliminate unnecessary projects that 70% of the dod thinks are unnecessary. such as major defense products on the eastern seaboard? >> i would first know that you are right. i don't think even cleared the senate, it cleared the house. the prospects are poor and even poorer work somehow escaped the capitol hill. i emphasize that not just acknowledging the legislative record, that is part of what deliberation is. in that sense, the systems are sort of already working. it is again -- to reiterate what i said in my prepared remarks -- it is also true that we are already on a cart path. we have been cutting for the past two years, and we will continue cutting inflation-adjusted terms in 2013. if history is any guide, we will do even well beyond that.
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there are governors in place that are army regulating that. your question pertains to what about the specific projects, that capitol hill or someone on capitol hill values, but that pentagon does not. what can you do to rectify that? i would first point out, in some ways, it is not a problem. the ambush protected vehicle that they use in iraq and afghanistan, it was something that the hill prioritize because people were getting blown up by ied's. there is a proper role for congress exercising decision-making and imposing some things on executive office and institutions. how to deal with the rest? management, either. there is not a golden bullet that is going to resolve this problem permanently.
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something that someone will have to wrestle with on a case-by-case basis. at least my opinion is going to be that you have to hope that the governors i have already outlined are sufficient. but most of those things don't come into the budget. >> we should probably clarify that, you know, when people present in arguments, pros and cons, the majority responds favorably to both. so it is not that most people are carrying around a very discrete human of i think defense should be cut and i am looking for signs that this candidate is for organs that. it is not that articulated. it is more because they say oh, yeah, that's true, oh, okay, now have to make the hard choice. then they make the hard choice.
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but they do respond to arguments in favor of a weapons system. when congress says, here is the reason why we need to keep this weapons system. that would probably make sense. however, we asked in a polls, when congress adds back money -- aspect programs at the pentagon doesn't want, do you think that they are doing it for national security reasons or do you think they are doing it for some other reasons? the large majority said, some other reason. when it is a question, again, if you present the argument -- they will say maybe that makes sense. but after they are told that the pentagon doesn't really want it, well, that has a real impact. that overrides whatever that
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argument is war might've been. >> 80% of americans think that there is waste in the defense budget. will it continue -- but that won't be the thing that changes the day that suddenly changes are ways. >> there is the conviction that the defense budget can come down without suffering. suffering a loss in serious physical capability. it is not going to determine the outcome, but it is one of the factors and one of the viewpoints that influence the outcome -- the overall outcome of the poll. and the general defense that can be shrunk without harming america's security. if everyone thought that money was being well spent and efficiently, and we are buying exactly what we needed for national security, you didn't
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imagine they would be a lot more nervous about seeing the budget crime. >> [inaudible question] >> wasteful spending has been reduced over the last six years, probably. but we don't have any earlier data that would show confidence is up. >> confidence is one thing, but without empirical data would look like -- jeff is right as to this is one of the reasons people feel comfortable cutting the budget. i am not sure it is a guideline for how the budget will be cut. waste reduces down pretty quickly to other people's priorities. when you are identifying what you consider to be waste worthy of cuts, it is in there for a reason. someone else put it there or it it is their priority and not yours. identifying which ways should be cut or even measuring how much waste that there is. >> [inaudible question] >> that is right.
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all you can use is looking at the gao's risk for defense programs, observing that a number of them are chronically on the list. one of them is the dod financial management systems, which have not proven very successful in getting the voting ready to report its financial data. both systems have been in breach of financial regulations. that is an anecdote that i am not sure how you track over time. >> i was wondering if you could speak about americans -- [inaudible] [inaudible question] also, i was wondering what kind of response you can provide on economic policy.
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>> the information, as you can see, you can see exactly what was presented to them. for each of the nuclear weapons in general, there was a pro- argument, excuse me, a con argument that has played such a crucial role, that it is her ultimate fallback. it helps keep -- nuclear weapons have helped keep the peace and so on. and then there were arguments really to missile defense. surrounding the triad, preserving numbers in the triad indicated we didn't have so many arguments there. we are mostly focusing on the core of the proposal. in general, this takes me to another study we did where we asked people how many nuclear
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weapons they thought the united states had. i think the average estimate was about 200. and also deliverable. we said how many of you think the united states needs an average response was 100. i do think that probably there is some potential for people getting more comfortable with a smaller nuclear force read indeed, on a percentage basis, nuclear weapons were cut the most. spending on nuclear weapons was cut by 27%. americans do not generally like nuclear weapons. in questions where they are asked what role nuclear weapons should play, even when presented -- and this was included in our argument in the con that we
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should not reduce spending because they have a war fighting context. not just the deterrence. the new developments of nuclear weapons are moving towards trying to make them more accurate and more limited, so they can have utility in a war fighting context. those kinds of arguments do not do well with the public. they think that generally nuclear weapons should be limited to a deterrent purpose. and that they should never be used that they should never be used first by the unite and that they should never be used first by the united states so that limits what their interests in developing those capabilities are. specifically on the bomber, it did not do very well. the argument in favor of
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reducing or limiting the bomber leg of the triad. so i think that is just a difficult concept for people. it is not the first way that they would think about it. the light arms control, they like moving towards reductions, and they overwhelmingly endorsed the ultimate goal of completely eliminating nuclear weapons. that is based on various polls that we and others have done. they support developing an international regime with intrusive inspections, and then gradually reducing step-by-step toward complete illumination. >> the bomber information that you have been given -- is it fair to say that given about
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[inaudible] -- just two systems for delivering them. should we save the money, others say there are better ways of delivering nuclear weapons, missiles cannot be recalled once they are fired. on that context, people decided there would be probably better chances of having three instead of two in ways of delivering. they also said that the idea of a new strategic bomber was not a good one. the poll results had people, the majority daring -- not a strong majority, but a majority nonetheless -- those in favor of canceling the new strategic bomber. so that was more of a conceptual response then i want a new bomber, let's go build one idea. nuclear weapons as a whole, the overall changes that people made were to cut about a quarter of
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the budget, now being spent on nuclear weapons. republicans were a little bit less, democrats were little bit more, as on most of these. there was strong sentiment from both parties in favor of cutting the nuclear weapons budget. >> let me follow-up, if i may. there are preferences which will shape the way that the nuclear triad programs and how they unfold. there are also budget realities in play. i will start with a report that just came out a month ago looking at the 10 year cost of the nuclear programs. that includes both military delivery vehicles and the energy department's national security and administration. a couple of things worth noting. with the 10 year plan. there is a next-generation bomber and that, and there is also a new ballistic missile submarine that comes into play in the 10 year window.
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the obama program is pegged at 80 to 100 aircraft, somewhere in the neighborhood of 55 billion-dollar programs. he saw the error. the air force jeep was intensely aware of the cost discipline program. they even expect to lose the program at discipline was not maintained. we are going to get really interesting case study of whether we will be able to break off this procurement or not. the stakes are higher with the way the chief of staff has been it. part of the other leg of the triad, the ballistic missile submarine, which comes in to play little bit later in this cycle. it is really challenging the navy shipbuilding budget. conversation doesn't seem to have been concluded yet as to whether we will be able to move those into a defense white account or maintain them in a shipbuilding budget.
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but the information that i have seen suggests it will stay in the navy's account. it is going to create deep pressure on other aspects of navy shipbuilding. just using rough historical guides, usually those programs will be cut on the inside. there are preferences to your favor and reductions in the size of nuclear force. this complexity of how the bomber fits into that, they don't want a new bomber, but they do want to retain the leg of the triad. there are already realities in play that suggests this will be tough to manage the next decade. for detail on that, take a look at the simpson report. >> [inaudible question] on nuclear deterrence and
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coverage. >> we have not addressed what other countries have done, that is what you are asking. >> part of the poll, which people were given information about what the united states spends as a whole, relative to other countries spend, but not specifically on what the other nuclear powers spent on their forces. >> okay. i was wondering about nuclear information and addressing the subject of u.s. funding other countries [inaudible] >> we will stick to one question, ma'am. >> view of you seem very confident in regards to defense spending, yet given presidential candidate mitt romney reversed the obama era tax cuts, and on top of that they created cuts
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for the military. what makes you so confident that we are what appears to be at this time? >> i am not making such a prediction. the capacity of government to act in ways that are at odds our public opinion, which is well-known. and it is important to remember that you don't have a highly organized that of bots in people's minds. it is more than one they look at the big picture, they come to that conclusion. that does create a political environment. where the public is quite receptive to cutting defense. they are going to be increasing pressures, budgetary pressures. not just from this study, but from the earlier study, where
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they were presented with the entire discretionary budget and allowed to make their own budget. defense constituted about half of all the cuts. it is where people's minds go when they see the big picture. given that we are going to have political pressures toward cutting, there is a receptivity. nobody likes cutting anything. you know? it is not that they are eager for it. but when the pressure is there, that is where it comes out. where this is going, i am not going to make a prediction on what the outcome will be. only that you have the conditions that make it viable. >> i don't think myself as
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someone making a prediction as an observation. it is july. we are well into the 2013 appropriations cycle. we do not yet have a proposal from the budgetary advisers that would increase the budget. if the house subcommittee position is enacted, we must have a real cut. that is the high end of the spectrum right now. so unless something changes, then a new position gets introduced. the school to -- fiscal year 2013 will be lower than fiscal year 2012. romney has faced that position. he did so relatively firmly as part of the primary. the primary is over and already you see language changing from within his camp about exactly how that would be implement it, how quickly that would be implemented. wings of that nature.
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all that has the effect of softening the position. he has to campaign on it and find a way to establish his campaign for president. this is a way to do it. he certainly seems to be emphasizing indifferently then during the primary session. the last observation is that these pressures are not going away, as steven said, irrespective of who is president. when you challenge those pressures, there are a number of ways they can overcome them. it is very difficult to do it without everything being on the table. including national defense. we are still talking about one fifth of your total budget for your discretionary budget. whether it is obama or romney, that is not going to be going anywhere. >> the only thing i would add is that mitt romney is not the only, as my colleagues have pointed out, even if he wants to increase the defense budget.
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he is not a czar. he is part of a complicated, political dynamic in washington. also, the senate will definitely have different ideas. democrats love your ideas. even as matt has pointed out, some of his fellow republicans may have different ideas. what comes out at the end, and moreover, defense spending is regarded as a competitive for social spending in the current budget dynamic. that competition will not disappear. the desire to cut the deficit will not disappear. what mitt romney says is something that should not be taken as a predictor of an outcome of a specific outcome. at best, you know, it is going to change the current dynamic if he gets elected. it will change the current dynamic because you have one player in the system espousing a different point of view than any of the others are expressing
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now. except for maybe the chairman of the house armed services committee. he is pretty much alone in washington now as an important player who wants to increase the defense budget. >> quick question on the consultative local argument. could you talk about what you are looking for in the spending bill for 2013. specifically, what is it, the authorization for budget and the proposal? could you give us a sense of not only your opinion of the sequestration proposal, but how do you think the sequestration will turn out this year? a prediction. >> i do not have a prediction.
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i will again share some thoughts on it. when it comes to the house appropriations bill, i am not watching any particular programs. there is a problem, and that is that the appropriation is consistent with the budget committees see out to be, but not with the government center at the moment. there is the administration's request. somebody has to change. in other words, congress is going to have to amend the budget control act, or all of these positions are in excess of what is presently allowed. i see it as part of the election cycle. the house is staking out a position, they feel comfortable campaigning along. they will do so.
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the election will be contested in some and some people will win and others will lose. after that, we will have to come back to washington and deal with the fact that either a significant piece of legislation gets amended to prevent them from having the current conversation, or that defense appropriation stance just changes. i don't think i would wager a bet on how that plays out. as for sequestration, again, this is an observation. the congressional research service had a reporter with a look at previous instances where sequester was a risk. bear in mind that this is not a new legislative issue. this is one that has been around for more than 20 years. it has been about -- there has been about five instances where
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sequestration was a possibility. if memory serves me correctly, on three occasions it was dismissed. that was after congress decided not to do that. one of them, it was a financial accounting error that turned out not to be a problem. in another, besides was cut down enormously upon implementation. that should factor in. sequester is meant to be an incentive for tough decision-making, at the same time, if not, congress can act again. they could not could not do so many things come up. my expectation is not that there will be a sequester costing $55 billion on january 2, 2013. i expect that something will happen in that lame-duck session that will change those terms so that defense may be continued to cut, but certainly not at that
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level. >> [inaudible question] regarding the red and blue districts. i was just wondering -- is it based on petty registration? or is with looking at [inaudible] if that is true, can you talk about some of the analysis, and your results for this, this is a whole. >> the first part immigrants are publicans and democrats, that is based on what people say. what party do you associate yourself with. for the red and blue district analysis, it was driven entirely by where they lived. and the party of the current member of congress in their district. it is pretty simple, pretty
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straightforward. >> so they were not necessarily registered party members we met they renewed and then, again, -- [inaudible] >> as republican or democrat, then we have information about where they lived. then we divide them according to where they live. >> in defense cuts are implemented, that they would go to waste, as you mentioned. i would like to ask about that. >> well, because the way the system works, the chances that the cuts will be made only in places that will be probably identified as waste by some independent group sing on the outside, you know, i think there is a certain level of warfare that takes place among interesting parties in a period of decline.
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you know, the best team will be the one whose program survives. best in the terms that it is the strongest team. not best in the terms of what is necessarily good for national security. i am kind of pessimistic that the shrewdest cuts will be made. but there is a chance. i know the people at the pentagon care very deeply about trying to allocate the cuts in a responsible way. but they are as red by this agreement and service are rivalry and what is going on on the hill. this system rarely produces perfect efforts. >> we appreciate everyone coming up. >> the senate is about to come
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in for the day. members will continue work on a bill that will cut taxes for multinational businesses that move jobs to the united states. the bill sponsored by michigan democrat debbie stabenow. it also denied tax reductions occurred from outsourcing jobs. majority leader harry reid wild to propose the bill yesterday. that sets up a book for tomorrow. we will go live to the senate now. as we do from a quick reminder coming up in about 30 minutes on c-span 3, live coverage of federal reserve chairman ben bernanke speaking to a house committee. live to the u.s. senate now on c-span 2. o lord our god, we turn to you for strength and courage and faith. we thank you for your promise to supply all our needs from your bountiful reservoir
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of grace. today, empower our lawmakers to find new opportunities for service. infuse them with such hope and purpose that their labors will bring a harvest of such goodness that justice will reign in our land and world. may our senators yield their attitudes and dispositions to your control so that they might work effectively with each other. we pray in your gracious name. amen. the presiding officer: please
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join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., july 18, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable kirsten e. gillibrand, a senator from the state of new york, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore.
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: the first hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. the majority will control the first half. the republicans the final half. yesterday cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to bring the jobs home act.
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a vote will occur tomorrow morning. madam president, i'm told s. 3393 is at the desk and due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 3393, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to provide tax relief to middle-class families. mr. reid: i'd object to any further proceedings with respect to this bill at this time. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. reid: madam president, if you own a business in america today, your goal should be to make a profit. there's nothing wrong with that. that's good. millions of hardworking americans, entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. and if your company boosts profits by sending jobs overseas, that's your right as a business owner but american taxpayers shouldn't subsidize your business decisions to outsource jobs especially when there are millions of people in this country looking for work.
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over the last ten years, two and a half million jobs in call centers and factories were shipped overseas. and american taxpayers helped foot that bill. for sending those jobs overseas. every time u.s. companies ship jobs or facilities overseas, american taxpayers help cover the moving costs. the bring jobs home act would end these disgraceful subsidies for outsourcing and comblif give a 20% tax credit for moving back to the united states. but republicans are filibustering this commonsense legislation. it's no surprise republicans are on the side of corporations. corporations making big bucks sending american jobs to china and india and other places. after all, their presidential nominee, mitt romney made a fortune outsourcing jobs also. so republicans are putting breaks for corporations and multimillionaires ahead of the needs of ordinary americans and
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what most americans need is a good job, a job here at home and the assurance that taxes won't go up. democrats, republicans and independents across the country agree with our plan. it's only republicans in congress who disagree. yet republicans here in congress in the senate are filibustering the legislation to bring jobs back to america. and they've twice blocked a vote on legislation to keep taxes low for 98% of american families. it was republicans who asked for a vote on the plan to raise taxes for 25 million families and a vote on our plan to keep taxes low for 135 million american taxpayers. so we offered them what they wanted. we offered them up-or-down votes on both proposals. no procedural hoops, no delay tactics, simple majority votes on our plan and theirs and they refused. so maybe republicans refused our offer because they don't have the votes for their plan to raise taxes on 25 million american families. or maybe they refused it because
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the majority of americans support our plan to keep taxes low for 98% of families while asking the top 2% to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. even a majority of republicans support our plan across the country. yet still republicans here in the senate are holding hostage tax cuts for nearly every american family to extort more budget-busting giveaways to millionaires and billionaires. for years, the deficit was all they were talking about. they were willing to end medicare as we know it, cut nursing homes for seniors and raise taxes on the middle class all in the name of deficit reduction. but now the democrats have a plan to reduce the deficit by almost a trillion dollars, simply by ending wasteful tax breaks republicans have given up fiscal responsibility. i say to to to my republican friends. you can't have it both ways. you can't call yourself a deficit hawk and fight for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires while the deficit continues to increase.
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and you can't call yourself a fiscal conservative and fight to protect tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs to india or to china. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i indicated to the majority leader before the senate convened today i wanted to have a discussion, the two of us on several items. number one, understand my friend the majority leader last night on msnbc said it was his intention at the beginning of the next congress if the democrats were in the majority to change the rules of the senate by a simple majority. i wanted to begin by asking my friend the majority leader if his comments at the beginning of this congress on january 27, 2011, are no longer operative. at that time my friend the majority leader said i agree that the proper way to change national senate rules is through the procedures established in those rules and i will oppose
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any effort in this congress or the next -- or the next -- to change the senate's rules other than through the regular order. so my first question of my friend the majority leader is, is that statement no longer operative? mr. reid: madam president, through the chair, to my friend, the republican leader, as i've said here on the floor, i believe that what took place at the beginning of this congress was something -- was very important for this body. led by senator udall from new mexico and senator merkley from oregon. they had been here a while and they thought that the senate was dysfunctional. well, they hadn't been here a long time and i was willing to go along with the traditional view, let's not rock the vote here.
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that was under the hope and i thought the assurance of my republican colleagues that they would not have these continue wal con sensical motions to proceed, filibuster, taking -- through that finally on a piece of legislation and i said in the senate a few months ago that i was wrong. it's hard to acknowledge that you're wrong. it's difficult for any of us to do. especially in front of so many people. but i said that i think they were right and i was wrong. and i stick by that. i think what has happened the last few years of changing the basic rules of this senate where we have not 50 votes to pass something but takes 60 on everything, i think that's wrong. i think that where -- where we waste weeks and weeks on motions to proceed and i had a conversation with a real
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traditionalist last evening, carl levin, senator from michigan, where we talked about this at some length. he acknowledges that the motion to proceed is a real problem here. he disagrees with me and someone i have to talk with him personally but that's the way i understood him but i am convinced unless there is an agreement to change honor howe owe wee focus on the motion to proceed and i'll try to end this quickly because i think the leader deserves a full explanation. the filibuster was originally devised, it's not in the constitution, it was devised to help legislation get passed. that's the reason they changed the rules here to do that. now it's being used to stop legislation from passing and we have to change things because this place is becoming inoperative. mcconnell: madam president, i hear my friend the majority leader that his commitment at the beginning of this congress that we would not follow the regular order to change the rules of the senate is no longer
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operative. so let me turn to a second area. we both agree that the advantage of being in the majority, the principal advantage is you get to schedule legislation. and of course there are a number of things that can be done with a simple majority of 51. and i would ask my friend the majority leader why it's his view that republicans have somehow prevented the senate from passing a budget which could have been done with a mere 51 votes any time during the last three years. mr. reid: madam president, that's an easy question to answer. we already have a budget. we passed in august of last year a budget that took effect for the last fiscal year and this fiscal year. it set numbers through -- 302-b numbers in effect. we already had a budget. so the hue and cry of my republican fleendz we need a budget is just a lot of talk.
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we already have a budget. mcconnell: i say --. mr. mcconnell: , i know the parliamentarian disagrees with his few but let's assume we do have a budget and by judge ask the majority leader why we haven't passed a single appropriation bill. mr. reid: that also is an easy question to answer. the republicans in the house, this is a bicameral legislature, why have reneged on the law passed last august that set numbers. their appropriation bills have artificially lowered the numbers and in effect violated the law that's in effect here in this congress. as a result of that, senator inouye has marked up his subcommittee bills and we can't -- and i would also say, madam president, the house was not serious about what they do. energy and water which used to be one of the most important subcommittees, most popular, i should say in addition to being
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important, subcommittees in this body, i was fortunate to serve on that subcommittee for more than a quarter of a century under a great -- under great leaders, domenici, bennett johnson, domenici and i switched back and forth. but the house sent us over here an appropriation bill that has more than 30 riders directed toward e.p.a. type functions alone. i mean they're not serious about doing sage. they're serious about satisfying their tea party and the ridiculous messages they're trying to send. so -- and i would also say one of the problems problems we have we have to fight to get to anything, any legislation. we have to fight to get that done. as you know, we've wasted -- i said weeks earlier. months. trying to get legislation on the
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floor. so appropriation bills, i wanted to get these done, i'm an appropriator but it's been with the actions of the house unrealistic. mr. mcconnell: what we just heard, madam president, it's not the senate's house, it's the house's fault that the senate won't schedule appropriation bills that have been marked up in the senate appropriation committee. my concern here is that nobody's taking responsibility for the senate itself. we're not responsible for what the house is doing. typically these differences in what we call 302-b's, that is what each subcommittee is going to spend, are worked out in conference. we can't have a conference on any of the bills because we haven't passed any of the bills across the senate floor. so the majority leader doesn't want to do the budget. he doesn't want to schedule votes on appropriations bills. then i would ask my friend why don't we do the d.o.d. authorization bill?
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mr. reid: the answer is pretty simple there too. we have spent the last many weeks working through procedural matters on bills that the republicans have held up. i've spoken to senator levin last night about that. he's the chairman of that committee. i've spoken to john mccain several times on this matter. i know how important they feel this legislation is. and i think it's important also. and we can only do what we have to do. one of the things i think i have an obligation for our country to get to is cybersecurity. i was asked to visit with general petraeus. i did that a day or two ago. and i think that you don't have to have a briefing by general petraeus to understand how important it is to do something about cybersecurity. there are people out there making threats on this country
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every day, and we've been fortunate being able to stop a number of them. so we're going to have to get to cybersecurity before we get to the defense authorization bill because the on the relative merits, cybersecurity is more important, one i believe is more important than the other. mr. mcconnell: madam president, it's pretty obvious here the reason the senate is so inactive is because the majority leader doesn't want to take up any serious bills that are important to the future of the country. he mentioned cybersecurity. why isn't it on the floor? defense authorization, why isn't it on the floor? appropriations bills, why don't we call them up? these are not partisan bills. they're widely supported. they are the basic work of government, including the budget. and i understand his view is that the parliamentarian is wrong, that we really did pass a budget. but the budget could be done with a simple majority. the appropriations bills are not
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partisan in nature. if there are differences in the 302-b's, they would be worked out in conference, which is the way we did it for years. we have followed the regular order occasionally, and when we have, senators have been involved. they were relevant in the process. i'll give you five examples. the export-import bank reauthorization, trade adjustment assistance, patent reform, f.a.a. reauthorization, the highway bill, and the farm bill were all examples of when senators were made relevant by the fact that we took up bills that actually came out of committees that were worked on by members of both parties, that were brought up on the floor, amendments were offered and in the end bills passed. the core problem here is my good friend, the majority leader, as a practical matter is running the whole senate because everything is centralized in his
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office which diminishes the opportunity for senators of both parties to represent their constituents. we all were sent here by different americans who expected us to have a voice, to have an opportunity to effect legislation. i would say to my good friend, the majority leader, we don't have a rules problem. we have an attitude problem. when is the senate going to get back to normal? i can recall my friends on the other side saying repeatedly the difference between the house and senate is you get to vote. it's not a top-down organization like the house is. it's really kind of a level playing field in which the majority leader has a little more advantage than any of the rest of us and the right of first recognition. but really once a bill is called up, it's a jump ball. and what my friend, the majority leader, is saying is it's inconvenient, it's hard to work with all these senators who have different point of view and want
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to do different things. well, heck, that's the way legislation is passed. it's not supposed to be easy. and senators are supposed to have an opportunity to participate. and i would argue in the examples that i just cited where senators did participate both in the committee and on the floor, the senate functioned like it used to. and all this talk about rules change is just an effort to try to find somebody else to blame for the fact that the senate has been ruled essentially dysfunctional by 62 efforts by my good friend, the majority leader, to fill up the tree, in effect, deny senators, both democrats and republicans, the opportunity to offer any amendments that he doesn't select. that's the reason we're having this problem. so it doesn't require a rules change. it requires an attitude change. and i sense on both sides of the aisle -- this is not just a republican complaint, i would say to my friend the majority leader. i've talked to a lot of democrats about this too.
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they'd like to be relevant again. and the way senators are relevant is for their committee work to be respected and to be important and to become a part of a bill coming out of committee. or if they didn't, an opportunity to offer an amendment, to effect it on the floor. and, sure, we have no rules of germaneness. we generally are able to work that out. when he we were in the majority, we got nongermane amendments from the democratic side, and i used to tell my members the price of being in a majority is you have to cast votes you don't want to cast because that's the way you get a bill across the floor and get it to completion. so i would say to my good friend, the majority leader, quit blaming everybody else. it's not the house. it's not the senate. it's not the motion to proceed. why don't we operate like we used to under leaders of both parties, and understood that amendments we don't like are
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just part of the process, because everybody here doesn't agree on everything. that would be my thought about how to move the senate forward. but, at the beginning of this discussion the majority leader made it clear that what he said at the beginning of the congress is no longer operative. it is now his view that the senate ought to operate like the house. ought to operate like the house. a simple majority. i think that's a mistake. i think that would be a mistake if i were the majority leader and he were the minority leader, which could be the case by the end of the year. and now i'll probably have to argue to many of my members why we shouldn't do what the majority leader was just recommending about six months before. let's assume we have a new president and i'm the majority leader next time and we're operating at 51. i wonder how comforting that is to my friends on the other side.
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how does it make you feel about the security of obamacare, for example? that i think's worth thinking about. the senate has functioned for quite a number of decades without a simple majority threshold for everything we do. it has a good effect because it brings people together. you have to get -- to do anything in the senate, you have to have some bipartisanship. my colleagues do. we really want the senate to become the house. is that really in the best interest of our country? do we want a simple majority of 51 to ramrod the minority on every issue? i think it's worth thinking about over the next few months as the american people decide who is going to be in the majority in the senate and who is going to be the president of the united states.
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mr. reid: madam president, the republican leader has asked a few questions, so i'll proceed to answer them. i can remember reading with great interest george orwell's 1984 book where it came out that up was down and down was up. the republican leader is living in a fantasy world if he believes what he said, and i assume he does. that's why two scholars a couple of months ago wrote a book. they have been watching washington for three or four decades. they said they have over the years been like a lot of people who are writers. the democrats did this, republicans did this. but their conclusion was what's happened in recent years is the
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republicans have stopped this body from working. they said that. by all of their shenanigans on these motions to proceed, creating 60 votes when it never existed before. robert karo who is writing the definitive work on lyndon johnson, one of my predecessors, said i had a very difficult job based on how the senate has changed, with what the republicans are doing. now, madam president, we have tried mightily. we've gotten a few things done. whenever there is a decision made that they want help, a bill get passed, we get it done. but that's rare. for example, the highway bill. that bill took so long to get done. we had one major piece of legislation that we waited four weeks before they could get out of their system that instead of doing highways, we should be doing birth control, determining
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what birth control women should be entitled to. all of these extraneous issues. important legislation held up for one of the republicans over here decided they are a better secretary of state than hillary clinton. holding up major pieces of legislation. so i can take the criticism that the republican leader has issued. i assume that is constructive criticism, and i accept that. but i would just suggest to my friend that if a democratic senator, as the presiding officer knows, has a problem about anything going on here, they talk to me. and i don't think there is any reason for them to talk to the republican leader. but if they do, that's more power to them. madam president, there have been volumes of pieces of legislation that have been brought to a standstill here. whoever -- why did we have now a
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rule that every basic piece of legislation has 60 votes? i had a meeting with senator feinstein, senator tester, senator lautenberg. and in the course of the conversation, senator feinstein looked back and said, you know, i had really a controversial amendment dealing with what should happen to assault weapons. she said, you know, that passed with a simple majority vote. no one suggested filibustering that thing to death. that's only new. that's new. legislation being used as an excuse to stop things. now, i want the record to be very clear, and i've made it all very clear in all of my public statements about the need to get rid of the motion to proceed. madam president, i'm not for getting rid of the filibuster rule. in 1984 i suggested i think the
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house and senate should be the same. i do believe when the filibuster came into being was to help get legislation passed. i repeat: it's now to stop legislation from passing, and that's not appropriate. so i'm convinced the best thing to do with the filibuster is have filibusters. i've been involved in a couple of them. i'm sure i i irritated people on both of them. but i did that. one of them lasted a long time. the other one didn't last too long. the first one lasted 11 or 12 hours. that's what filibusters are supposed to be. not throwing monkey wrenches into decision we're trying to make and then walk off the floor. the rules have to change, i acknowledge that and don't apologize it for one second. as far as how i attempt to run the senate, i do the best i can under very difficult circumstances, as indicated by the two writers, mann and
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orenstein. mr. mcconnell: most people think a filibuster is to stop a bill from passing. cloture is to end debate. what we've had here on at least 62 occasions while the majority leader was running the senate, for example, the time when senators were not allowed to talk, not allowed to offer amendments, not allowed to participate in the process. cloture is frequently used in order to advance a measure. but as you can imagine, when senators have no opportunity to have any input, it tends to create the opposite reaction. but what is all of this really about? it's about making an excuse for a completely unproductive senate, much of which could have been done with a simple 51 votes -- passing a budget -- and not even bringing up bills that we all want to act on. all the appropriations bills, the defense authorization bill.
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and on the rare occasions when the majority leader has turned to a measure that senators have been involved in developing, we've come to the floor, we've had amendments, we've had votes, and the bills have passed.s that's the way the senate used to operate. this isn't a rules problem. this is a making excuse argument. of the senate i sense on a bipartisan pwaeusdz would like to be -- basis would like to be more productive which would involve the use of senators' talents, speaking ability, voting and debating on the floor of the senate. since when did that go out of fashion? we have a big difference of opinion here about the way this place is being run.
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and it's not a rules problem. it's an attitude problem. it's a looking for somebody else to blame game. my friend, the majority leader, i think what we need to do is get busy with serious business confronting the american people. where is the defense authorization bill? where are the appropriations bills? don't blame it on the house. don't blame it on us senate republicans. we want to go to these bills. all of our members have been involved in developing this legislation in the armed services committee, in the appropriations subcommittee, senate republicans are involved in that legislation. we'd like to see it brought up on the floor, debated and considered. what is more important than funding the government? what is more important than the defense authorization bill? why is it on the floor? that's my question of the majority leader. we can have the rules debate later. and apparently we will.
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but why aren't we doing anything now? that is my question for my friend the majority leader. mr. reid: this can best are answered in not my responding directly but quoting. this is from an op-ed that appeared around the country by thomas e mann and norman j. ornstein. let's just say it is the headline. the republicans are the problem. representative -- i'm quoting. representative allen west, a florida republican was recently captured on video saying there are 78 to 81 democrats in congress who are members of the communist party. of course it's not unusual for a regular agaid member to say something outrageous. what has made west so striking is that there was a complete lack of condemnation from republican congressional leaders or party figures including presidential candidates, republican presidential
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candidates. it's not that the g.o.p. leadership agrees with west, it's that such stream remarks and views are taken for granted. i go on. we've been studying washington application in congress -- politics in congress more than 40 years and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. in our past writings we've criticized both parties when we believes it was warranted. today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the republican party. madam president, understand ornstein works for the american enterprise institute, a conservative think tank. they go on to say the g.o.p. has become an insurgent outlier in american politics. it is ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, unmoved by facts, evidence and science and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. madam president, i am a
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legislator, been doing it for 30 years here and for quite a few years in nevada prior to getting here and i've enjoyed being a legislator. this last few years because of what we hear from ornstein and mann has made it very, very unpleasant and for my -- for the republican leader with a straight face to come here and say why aren't we doing the defense authorization bill, why aren't we doing appropriation bills, everyone knows why we're not doing them. they haven't let us get to even virtually anything. and to be dismissive of me because i say the republican leader in the house has been dismissive of the law we have guiding this country, i think says it all. we, madam president -- i recognize we're a bicameral legislature. we have our own things to do. but we have to take this as a whole, and look at the record. major pieces of legislation, we can't get to. for example, we can't get to
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something dealing with outsourcing of jobs. we're here flubling a motion to proceed to that. a motion to proceed to it. not the substance of the legislation. a motion to proceed to it. so, madam president, the record speaks for itself. the record speaks for itself. we've been studying washington politics and congress more than 40 years and we have never seen them this dysfunctional. today we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the republican party. the grand old party, the republican party, has become an insurgent outlier in american politics, it'sed yoa lodgey cli extreme, unproved by facts, evidence and science and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. mr. mcconnell: the reason i'm having a hard time restraining my laughter, i know norm or steern and thomas mann.
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they're ultraliberals. their problem with the senate is the deputies don't have 60 votes anymore. their problem is the republicans control the house. their views about dysfunctionallity of the senate carry no weight certainly with me. i know this have an ideological agenda, always have and usually admit it although it's cloaked in this particular instance. but the best way to wrap it up this is nobody else is keeping the majority leader from calling up the appropriation bills, from calling up the defense authorization bill, from calling up a budget. that's his responsibility. he has a unique role in this institution. he has the opportunity to set the agenda. and just because all 100 senators don't immediately fall into line and it may be a little bit difficult to go forward is no excuse for not doing the important and basic work that the american people sent us here to do. it's time to bring up serious
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legislation that affects the future of the country, that the american people expect us to act on. and not expect a hundred senators to all agree on every piece of legislation from the outset. passing bills is inevitably difficult. but not impossible. and that's been demonstrated on at least five occasions when the majority leader allowed the committees to function, allowed the senate floor to function, allowed members to have amendments, and we got a result. mr. reid: madam president, in one committee, the energy and water committee led by senator bingaman, that committee alone has had hundreds of piece of legislation held up, can't get out of the committee. what -- you know, i'm sorry that it's an usual thing to have
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ornstein and mann referred to as liberals but whatever they are, working for the conservative american enterprise institute, one of them at least, it's very clear that they view this body as being in deep trouble because the republicans being dysfunctional themselves. and i think it's very clear that we have a situation here, i understand there's a presidential election going on. i clearly understand that. and i know there are efforts to protect their nominee and we do what we can to protect the president of the united states but that should not prevent us from legislating. and for my friend, who has been on the appropriations committee as long as i have, to talk about not -- why aren't we doing the appropriation bills, it's obvious. 12 or 13 appropriation bills, we have simply not been able to get to the appropriation bills because --. mr. mcconnell: have you tried calling any of them up?
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mr. reid: mr. president, i don't think it calls for my being interrupted here. i've listened patiently to his name calling and i don't intend to do that but i will say this, i've tried to call up lots of things, by consent or by filing motions and virtually everything habs stopped. for him to boast about passing five pieces of legislation in an entire congress isn't anything any of us should be happy about. shouldn't be happy about that at all. we should be passing scores of pieces of legislation, like we did in the last congress. but no, a decision was made at the beginning of this congress to do -- i may not be a direct quote but certainly substantively accurate that my friend the republican leader has said his number one goal is to stop obama from being reelected and that's what the legislation we've tried to get forward has had -- is barrel we've tried to
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get around continue wally. we're going to go ahead, we'll have cloture tomorrow on another -- one of our scores of times we've tried to break cloture this congress, and move on to something else. we've had 13 cloture votes on motions to proceed in the second session of the congress lien. 13. others just went away because you ran out of time to do those kinds of things. so now as indicated by the republican leader we've passed five things, that's about one-third of the petitions i've had to file motions to invoke cloture on motion to proceed. not on legislation. mr. mcconnell: the reason it's difficult, we didn't get an agreement with the majority leader to have amendments once we do get on the bill. so the reaction on this side is if the majority leader is not going to let us have amendments, if the only result of invoking cloture on the
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motion to proceed is he fills up the tree and doesn't offer us any amendments, why would we want to do that? all of this is much more easily avoided than you think. the majority leader is basically trying to convince the american people that it's somebody else's fault that the senate is not doing the basic work of government. and, you know, regardless of the blame game, the results are apparent. no budget, no appropriation bills, no defense authorization. we're not doing the basic work of government here. and that really ought to stop. and it's within the purview of the majority leader to determine what bill we try to turn to. and just because it may be occasionally difficult to get on a bill particularly when the majority leader won't say you can have amendments is no good excuse for not trying. we spend days sitting around
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here when we could be processing amendments and working on bills. all we need is an indication from the majority leader that these bills are going to be open for amendments. we've tried that a few times. it's worked quite well. it's amazing how the senate can function when members are allowed to participate, offer amendments, get votes and move forward. i recommend we try that more often. mr. reid: madam president, we are where we are. i think it's very clear from outside sources -- take, for example, i repeat what caro said writing the definitive work on lyndon johnson about the difficult job i've had is because of how the senate has changed because of what has taken place in the last couple years. we have had bills that we have
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been able to work things out with republicans and that's pleasant. i'm glad we've been able to do. but most of the time we can't do that. we have one republican senator in tense negotiations with pakistan on a lot of very sensitive issues that wants to do something that's outside the scope of rational thinking which holds legislation up. so we've had -- we've tried very hard all different ways to move legislation in this body but for the first time in the history of the country the number-one issue in the senate of the united states has been a procedural thing, how do we get on a bill, a motion to proceed to something. that has taken over the senate and it needs to go away. we shouldn't have to do that anymore. mr. mcconnell: the final thing i would say is just last week the chairman of the appropriations committee, senator inouye, said his committee's been working hard to have the bills ready to go. to date, the panel has cleared
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nine of 12 annual bills. senator inouye has is quoted as saying on july 10, just last week, after putting us all to work like this i expect some of these bills to pass. i would recommend that my good friend the majority leader heed the advice of the chairman of the appropriations committee of his party. let's pass some appropriation bills. mr. reid: madam president, i don't have a better friend in this body than the chairman of the appropriations committee. i've been one of his big fans, he's been one of my big fans. he of course is a national hero, medal of honor winner and great chairman of the appropriations committee. we work hand in glove. everything that i have said about the appropriation process will be underscored and has been by senator inouye. he supports what we are unable to do. he realizes that. he realizes his counterpart in the house has fumbled with the numbers and makes it extremely difficult to get things done. we understand that. but the main thing,
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madam president, the main thing, we can't get legislation on the floor because the number-one thing that we talk talk about here in the senate this entire congress is how to get on a bill and that's why the motion to proceed must go away. mr. mcconnell: madam president, a good example of the problem is the bill we're on right now, the stabenow bill bypassed the committee entirely, introduced a week ago, a week ago, placed on the calendar. this is not the way legislation is normally done. it's crafted in somebody's office, rule 14. brought up by the majority leader. i expect it has something to do with the campaign. we spent a week on it when we could be doing the d.o.d. bill. that's my point. what are we doing here? is the senate a messaging machine or are we doing the basic work of government? we're certainly not doing the basic work of government, but it could change. there are a vast majority of senators of both parties who
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would like to become relevant, who would like to participate in the legislative process, who would like to do the basic work of government. mr. reid: madam president, one of the most important issues facing america today is jobs being shipped overseas, whether it's olympic uniforms being made in china when they could be made by hickey freeman in new york, made here in america. outsourcing is an important piece of america that we now have to deal with. and of course we have the additional problem that governor romney has made a fortune shipping jobs overseas. the american people care about this issue. we can sit here and point fingers at, boy, that's terrible, we're now going to have to deal with outsourcing. we should deal with outsourcing. we should have done it before.
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but we've had a little problem getting the legislation on the floor. i don't want to apologize to anyone for having a debate on outsourcing. senator stabenow has done a wonderful job on that, and we couldn't have a better senator to deal with outsourcing than her. because what we did in the stimulus bill, the american recovery act, is direct jobs back to michigan, detroit, other places, with what we did with batteries, billions of dollars there. instead of importing batteries, now we're making most of them here in america. what we did with governor romney, we should have let the general motors and chrysler go bankrupt. we didn't do that and as a result created almost 200,000 jobs just in the auto industry alone. outsourcing is important and it's a debate we're going to have. let me remind the republican leader that it wasn't democrats that threatened to shut down the government last year and took most all the time we had. first it was the debt ceiling
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and after we got through the debt ceiling, they weren't going to allow us to do anything, getting funding to take us through the end of the fiscal year. it was the republican party last year that threatened to default the debts that we have as a country. now they're holding up tax cuts for 98% of the american people. 98%, in an effort to satisfy this mysterious man who i never met, but he must be a dandy, who has gotten every republican with rare, rare exception to sign a pledge that they're not going to deal with the 98% because they've got to protect the 2%. we're here dealing with outsourcing because that's what we should be doing. the presiding officer: the leadership time is reserved is reserved. under the previous order the following hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first half and
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the republicans controlling the final half. the senator from colorado. mr. udall: madam president, i'm here again on the senate floor urging my colleagues in both parties to extend the production tax credit for wind as soon as possible. i listened with great interest to the discussion the majority leader and the republican leader just had and it focused, as it should be by the majority leader was on jobs and the economy. this is a way in which we can enhance job creation and make sure that our economy continues to grow. that is by extending the production tax credit. this tax credit is also critical to the maintenance of our economic leadership when it comes to clean energy technologies. every day i've come to the floor of the senate to talk about a different state and the efforts that are underway in those states. i look forward to talking about the presiding officer's state at some point in the future.
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and today i want to talk about the buckeye state: ohio. many families and businesses in colorado and across our country are still struggling in this economic downturn, even though we've seen some signs of improvement, and this is especially true in ohio. several years ago, actually over the last couple of decades ohio has been plagued by outsourcing and layoffs, one of the things we want to prevent with senator stabenow's bill. those layoffs and outsources have cost ohioans thousands of jobs. it looked like we literally devastated the manufacturing base, one of the world's best manufacturing bases in the state of ohio. in recent years the wind industry has helped turn that around. and you can see from the american public of ohio here, these green circles show all of the activity tied to the wind industry in ohio.
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that renewal if you will is tied to ohio's long history as a manufacturing powerhouse. there are dozens of manufacturing facilities that have retooled to build wind turbines across ohio, in the process employing thousands of hardworking middle-class americans. and you can see that those manufacturing skills easily transfer the wind industry. it's the p.t.c. that's key to this. it's created those incentives that have allowed the manufacturing history of ohio to take center stage. i wanted to specifically talk about what's happening in ohio. when you think about the wind industry, it's not just the building of the towers or the blades or the cells. but you have maintenance needs. you have support sectors. you have a supply chain that results in the manufacture of some 8,000 parts. in ohio, 6,000 jobs are tied to
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the wind energy industry, and that's 50 different companies that have created those jobs. here's an area that is of real interest as well, madam president. $2.5 million in property tax payments result to local governments, money that helps fund schools and roads and other basic services. madam president, it's important to focus too on the people that we're alluding to here. i want to focus on one of the 6 thousand employed ohioans here who has been a beneficiary of the tangible effect that the wind p.t.c. has and that's jeff grabner, a wind product sales manager for cardinal fatteners in cleveland -- fasteners in cleveland, ohio. he left ohio, went to school but returned when the wind industry started looking for talented people in the state, and he's been working now for almost six years in the wind industry.
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cardinal employs almost 50 people. this company used to supply the construction industry. the demand fell off. now this growth in the wind industry presented them with an entirely new market. the factories retooled and now supplies fast tphers which are the -- fasteners, the super glue which holds a turbine together. thousands of fasteners are used in every wind turbine. i don't think i have to tell that you jeff loves his job at cardinal. because of it, he's able to provide for his own growing family. in fact he and his wife are about to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary this week. but all that could change if we don't extend the wind production tax credit. orders for new turbines this year are down 98% from last year, in large part because of
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the uncertainty tied to the market. without new orders, cardinal and other manufacturers like it may be forced to shut down and let people like jeff go. and that's why i'm back on the floor today, urging my colleagues to pass the wind production tax credit now. the p.t.c. equals jobs. we should pass it and extend it as soon as possible. it's a commonsense bipartisan measure. it has strong support across our country. not only has it shown that we can turn around manufacturing states like ohio, but it's shown us that we can outcompete china and other countries. but if we want to continue to win -- i should say we want to continue to lead and then win the global economic race, and specifically the clean energy race, it's now time for us to listen to the people of ohio and utah and south carolina and new york. this shouldn't be a partisan issue. this is an issue on which
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americans expect us to work together. so we must pass an extension of the production tax credit as soon as possible. madam president, as i close, i want everybody to know i'll be back on the senate floor tomorrow to talk about wind production in another state and to keep pushing for this commonsense policy. let's pass this as soon as possible. madam president, with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: mr. president? excuse me, madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i appreciate the opportunity to speak today following the great senator from the state of colorado. my topic is also manufacturing jobs in the united states. i just want to thank the senator from colorado for every day coming to the floor and
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reminding us of the importance of the consequences of choices we make, whether it's the tax policy choices of failing to extend the production tax credit and the consequences for high-quality manufacturing jobs in the wind industry, or the consequences for manufacturing all across our country, from the great state of new york to the state of colorado to the state of delaware. what we're on the floor today talking about is the bring jobs home act, which is just one of many important ways we can and should be fighting for high-quality manufacturing jobs in our home states and across our country. madam president, it was a very dark day when the chrysler plant in newark, delaware, where i'm from, shut its doors. built in the early 1950's first as a tank plant, then converted to an auto plant, this was a manufacturing facility that had sustained whole communities over several generations with high-quality, high-skilled, highly-paid manufacturing jobs.
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in december of 2008, they closed their doors for the very last time, and that plant has now been torn down to the ground. it is an empty hole in the heart of the city of newark. you would have thought it couldn't have gotten worse than the day that those thousands of workers filed out of the plant for the very last time, but it did. just a few short months later when the general motors plant just a few miles away in boxwood shuttered its doors. in just a year delaware went from having two high-performing high-quality auto plants to none. we lost nearly 3,000 middle-class manufacturing jobs. and this was followed by a whole constellation of other plant closings from avon which lost hundreds of jobs, to dozens of smaller manufacturers that had supported these auto plants for decades. i know 3,000 jobs may not sound like a lot in the wreckage of the recession of 2008 to this whole country. but for delawareans, for our
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small state and for all the families that were supported for so long, it was huge. i have an idea that i talk about all the time at home in delaware, which is that we need to get back to made in america and manufactured in delaware. that means something to us, back in 1985 when i was just finishing school, transportation of equipment manufacturing, which is the fancy way of saying making cars and all the stuff that goes in them, employed 10,000 people in delaware. today it's well below a tenth of that. made in america, manufactured in delaware has to mean something for our families, for our communities, for today and for our future. delaware was once a great and strong manufacturing state. as america was once the greatest manufacturing nation on earth. some believe those days are behind us, but i do not. i know my colleague, debbie stabenow, senator stabenow of michigan, the lead sponsor of the bill we're detective, --
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we're debating, the bring jobs home act does not believe our status as a world class manufacturer is behind us. the people of michigan, the people of new york and the people of delaware do not. i had the great opportunity this morning to visit with two leaders of delaware-based manufacturers that i just wanted to lift up for a moment today as we talk about the bring jobs home act. marty miller, c.e.o. of miller metal in delaware has benefited from a powerful but little heralded program, the manufacturing extension partnership that helps small manufacturers streamline their productions processes, reduce waste and inefficiency, do their order and through-put far more effectively and compete head to head around the world successfully. this manufacturing extension partnership has allowed marty's company to grow by 25 jobs in just the last year and to compete head to head with chinese metal fabricating plants in the global market and win.
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i.l.c. dover, known to delawareans for its storied history in our space program. they made all the suits for nasa but made blimps that protected our troops with downward looking radar and real time. they have made remarkable high-quality engineered soft goods for decades, and they too, i think, have had a promising future and the opportunity to grow even in this recovery because they too are focused on things made in america and manufactured in delaware. these two companies, these two men, the organizations that they lead are in my view just an introduction to what can and should be a renaissance, a recovery of manufacturing in the united states. we still produce more in dollar value in manufacturing than any
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country on earth, but there's been a downward slope in the number of jobs and in the sense of energy and investment and focus in our policy and our priorities in manufacturing for years. i think we can become a great manufacturing nation again and our middle class can be stronger than ever but we have to make smarter choices. we have to make head start smarter choices in our tax code. we have to look with an eye towards fairs and investment in the future and not just short-term profitability. we snead common sense in to support companies that are creating jobs here and we need to cut our support for companies that instead want to create jobs in china, in india, in vietnam, in thailand, by exporting jobs from the united states. as our economy pulls back out of what has been a devastating recession, i can think of no more galling idea than this country incentivizing american companies to ship some of our best jobs overseas. and yet as, you know,
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madam president, our current tax code allows businesses to duct the cost of moving expenses. permits, license fees, lease break raj -- brokerage fees, and other expenses. you can take it from you're moving from bridgeville to delaware, can you think of a worse way to spend taxpayer dollars? this is a loophole, madam president, so big you can drive a car through it. right out of the shuttered manufacturing plants of delaware. fixing this fundamental injustice in our tax code is the first half of the bring jobs home act. we say we're not going to pay any more for companies that send u.s. jobs overseas. we've got better ways to invest our tax dollars in rebuilding the base of manufacturing and the high-quality, high-paying jobs that come from it. the second thing this bill does, instead of incentivizing the outsourcing of american jobs
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is incentivizing insourcing. we say bring these jobs home. the bring jobs home act says you can keep the deduction to help pay your moving costs if you're moving from one facility in the u.s. to another, that's fine. you can still using the moving cost deduction if you're moving from a facility abroad back to the united states. that's better. but but this bill takes a further step. we say if you bring jobs home to the u.s., we'll give you an additional 20% tax credit on the costs associated with moving that production back to the u.s. the message of this bill is straightforward, madam president. if you're an american company and you've got manufacturing jobs or service jobs that could be done by americans, we want you to bring those jobs home. and we're going to help you do it. for my small state, i want to keep saying every chance i get, what we want is made in america and manufactured in delaware. lord knows we have the work force. there's an army of talented
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delawarans and americans ready to go. ford knows it, cater pillar knows it, gempletd knows it as we heard from senator stabenow, that's why they've brought jobs home. they're opening up new plants in the u.s. and putting americans back to work. there is a company in newark, delaware called f.m.c. biopol emmer. they've run a factor in newark, delaware, for exactly 50 years this year. they make a type of cellulose you'd find in foods, cosmetics, cleaning products. they had outsourced some of their manufacturing to china to save costs. but as you can imagine when you're working with these sorts of advanced products that go into consumer issues -- consumer products, safety is key and for performance and engineering and intellectual property and safety reasons, they brought some of their most critical jobs home. they employ more than a hundred people and contribute more than $20 million to our local economy every year and it's an important
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part of our economy. so for f.m.c. biopolymer i say thank you for strengthening made in america, manufactured in delaware. if big companies and small companies are figuring this out, when will this congress figure it out as well? the best thing we can do for our economy for millions of talented americans looking for work from our returning veterans to those who have searched so hard for work for the last two or three years, we can invest in them. we can pass the bring jobs home act as a smart choice to invest in american workers and their communities, to invest in their education, their schools and teachers, to invest in our infrastructure to make 1345r9er choices as a country and as a congress. there is no better investment i think than to make this phrase real, to return to made in america and manufactured in the states of every one of the senators of this great body.
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this is common sense. the last of the -- alas, in the united states senate, common sense rarely seems to win the day. i hope those watching, those whom we represent, take this seriously and recognize that the most important question before us, madam president, is what are we going to do to take the fight in the global economy on behalf of our families, on behalf of our communities, on behalf of our manufacturers and change things in our tax code, in our trade policy, in our intellectual property policy, to make it possible to not just invent things here and make them elsewhere, but to invent them here and make them here. madam president, i hope that this body will proceed to vote in favor of the bringing jobs home act so that for every one of our home states we can make this phrase true, that we want things made in america and manufactured in our home states. thank you and with that i yield
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the floor. a senator: madam president? mr. coons: i ask the remainder of the majority's time be reserved for use following the republicans' controlled time. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. blunt: i ask unanimous consent to enter into a colloquy with some of my colleagues on the minority side for 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blunt: i'd like to yield to mr. wicker who i believe has a unanimous consent request as well. mr. wicker: i ask unanimous consent that lieutenant commander brian amador be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blunt: we've heard our colleagues talking about jobs and clearly that needs to be the number-one priority in the country and it needs to be domestic jobs. the private sector is not doing just fine. the answer to the problems we
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face, not more government jobs, it's more private-sector jobs, and the numbers aren't good anywhere you look, any way you look. in fact, if you look at the last three months in the country, more people signed up for disability than new jobs were created. more people signed up for disability than new jobs were created. more people decided they were going to opt out and -- of the work force because of disability reasons than people that got jobs. and we're here talking about things that have minimal impact on the economy when we could be talking about things that have lots of impact on the economy. good energy policy, good tax policy, good regulatory policy. as long as this uncertainty continues or as long as there's substantial certainty that all of those things are going to begin to work against job creators, people aren't going to create jobs. we've talked this -- this week we voted twice on something
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called the disclose act that had absolutely no chance of becoming law this year and everybody on this floor knew it. what we ought to be disclosing is what our budget would look like. the senate hasn't had a budget in three years, and the law already requires that. the law already requires a significant disclosure on the part of the senate, and that's disclosing how we're going to spend the money. and the senate of the united states for the first time in the history of the budget control act three years ago, the second time two years ago, the third time this year, has decided we're just not going to obey the law. and when one of the leaders was asked why aren't you having a budget, he said we'd be politically foolish to say what we're for. now, what kind of responsible position is that? the other way we could disclose things is we could have the appropriations bills on the floor. the house has a budget. the house has passed half of the appropriations bills already. we haven't had a single bill on
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the floor, and the majority leader announced last week that we wouldn't have an appropriations bill on the floor before the election. now, why is it that we don't want to say before the election what we're for? why is it we don't want to say before the election how we're going to spend the people's money? why is it we don't want to say before the election what the budget would be, or even before the last election the senate wouldn't say what the budget would be and so we don't have one. when you don't have a plan, you plan to fail, and clearly the economy is doing just exactly that. statistic after statistic are not what the american people would want them to be. housing prices are down, unemployment's up, the labor group, the people that want to be in the economy is at a 30-year low. if you had the same number of people looking for jobs who were
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looking for jobs and had jobs in january of 2009, the unemployment rate would be over 11%. the only reason the rate is 8-point % is so misdemeanor people -- 8.2% is so many people have given. the labor force that we're counting is smaller than any time since ronald reagan was president. there must be some big problem, madam president, or people would be out looking for jobs, people would be out finding jobs, people want would want to be part of an economy that they see is faltering, and we're talking about little things instead of big things while the big things that affect america are dramatically affecting american families and american job creators and the president is telling small businesses that if your business was successful, it wasn't because of you. it was because of all kinds of other factors that you just
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happened to take advantage of. no small business person in america believes that. nobody who ever opened the door to a business the first thing-day, put their phone number in the phone book the first day and said call me, i can provide these services for you, thinks that they weren't successful because of their work. i'd like to turn to my friend from mississippi, mr. wicker, to talk on these issues as well. there are so many things we could be talking about today but clearly jobs and the economy are critical to american families. mr. mr. wicker: absolutely. i thank my friend for leading us in this colloquy. mr. wicker: we ought to be talking about jobs and the economy and we ought to be bringing legislation to the floor, giving our side an opportunity to offer suggestions and hearing if the majority party in the senate has something to offer other than the three and a half years of
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failed policies. now, their intentions are absolutely honorable. everyone wants to create jobs. everyone wants the unemployment rate to go down. but i think any fair observer would have to conclude that after -- after three afteryears, the policies of the majority party in this body, the policies of the obama administration have been an utter failure. 40 consecutive months of unemployment over 8%. the latest numbers were 8.2%. the last time we had that sustained period of joblessness was world war ii. it's absolutely unbelievable that the policies of our democratic friends have been so unsuccessful and such a failure. to put that in context, you
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know, in september of 2008 we had a severe crisis. because of the subprime loans, because of the excesses of fannie mae and freddie mac which a lot of us that have been in the congress for some time have tried to rein in but because of that subprime crisis, unemployment went through the roof. the economy crashed. the other crisis that we had earlier than that -- of course, september 11, 2001, when the terrorists attacked the very heartland and soil of the united states of america. the twin towers, the pentagon. 2001, we had a spike in unemployment, and our economy went in the tank. between that time, though, i think americans should realize that we didn't have exactly
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everything we wanted in terms of job growth, but unemployment between 2002 and the middle of 2007 actually averaged between 4.5% unemployment and 6% unemployment. we weren't happy with that then, but wouldn't we love to have that level of unemployment now, rather than the 8-point % and the over -- 8.2% and the over 8% we've sustained for 40 straight weeks. americans need to remember, this doesn't have to be the case, the 8.2%. as late as october of 2007 the unemployment rate in this country was 4.4%. we can do that again, but we will not do it again with the failed policies that the president and his party have been imposing on our country during their entire stewardship.
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the senator from missouri mentioned 8% or higher and the effective rate is 11% if everybody that had left the job force came back in and tried to get a job. actually the unemployment rate in the african-american community is 15%, an astounding and shameful figure. the obama stimulus program failed. it cost us over $800 billion, and we're going to have to pay that back somehow. but it failed. the unemployment rate for 40 straight months remains above 8%. dodd-frank failed. the affordable care act not only has made health care less affordable and less available, but it has failed to stimulate any jobs. and then yesterday, as a member of the banking committee, i
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heard testimony and this country heard testimony from the chairman of the federal reserve, and basically what he said is that he has lowered the economic expectations. he and the rest of the federal reserve now say the economy is going to get worse than they expected in january of this year. and the unemployment rate will be above 7%, in his estimation, but -- even at the end of calendar year 2014. that would be six straight years under these current policies, unless we change our approach to job creation. that will be six straight years of unemployment higher than it ever was during the first seven years even of the bush administration. we've got some ideas about how to turn that around. an american-made energy policy
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ending this regime of overregulation, which is just such a wet blanket on job creation, and ending the situation we have now about the tax burden on job creators. the tax burden on american risk takers is now higher than on any of our allies in the industrialized world. we hit job creators and risk takers and the people who want to help us with this 8.2% unemployment rate, we hit them harder than any other country in the industrialized world. so we've got some ideas. we'd like an honest-to-goodness jobs bill and we'd like the majority leader to give us some votes on some amendments. don't just call up the bill. fill up treat off of every -- fill up the tree off of every amendment you could possibly
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offer on the democratic side, file cloture and call it a filibuster. we need to go back to regular order in this senate and let us offer some ideas. less us have a debate again on this senate floor about some ideas that we have about job creation. so i'm glad to join my colleagues. i see my he friend from georgia here, and i know that he's been very thoughtful about this issue. mr. isakson: i thank the distinguished senator from mississippi. i rise to talk about something i know something about. i ran a small business for 22 years. i worked in a small business for 33 years. quite frankly, i think i understand small business as well as anyone who's done it. i was astounded, disappointed and perplexed with the president's statement last week that small business didn't owe its success to itself but it owed it to government. because it's the other way around. we would not exist as a senate were it not for the taxpayers of the united states of america. they under our cash flow, the
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money we invest to build ridges, broods and highways. it's an affront to those who have taken chances, succeeded and failed to build small businesses to employ american people to make this engine known as america to work. i want to go down the litany of what america does to make us exist as a congress and government. every january 15, april 15, june 15 and september 15 businesses pay their quarterly estimate on their taxes. so do independent contractors. employees pay it every month from withholding. the cash flow of the united states is not owed to the government. it's owed to the american people for the contribution that they make. social security, every beneficiary of social security for their entire life paid 6.2% of their income, and their employer matched it with another 6.2% up to $102,500 in income. medicare with no cap whatsoever 1.35% of your income from day one until the day you die goes to the medicare trust fund. talking about medicine for a
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second, many small businesses, 19% of american jobs are in health care now. they now have device taxes. if a small business is building an implant for dental implants or some kind of heart treatment or something like that they have an extra tax because of the affordable health care bill. for those that pay dividends or pay out investment income to their investors, they have a new surtax to help pay for the affordable care tax. then we have our ordinary income tax we pay on april 15. for our highways, when we fill up our tank of gas we pay the motor fuel tax. for our paeurpts the passenger -- airports, the passenger facility tax that goes to our government to reinvest in infrastructure. it sounds like we owe small business, not small business owes us. i think if we began acting like people who understand from whence comes our strength america would begin to come back. mr. bernanke yesterday, his downward fast is because business is not deploying capital. people are not making investments. there is one simple reason.
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we are a nation of uncertainty. nobody knows what the boundaries are going to be or what policy is going to be on january 1. let me close with one example. january 1 the estate tax goes back from a $5 million unified credit in exemption and 35% rate to a $1 million unified credit and a 5% rate. you know what that's going to do? that's going to close thousands of small businesses eventually around america because when a small business owned by a family, a family farm in mississippi or georgia, when the owner of that farm dies and they go to pass their assets on to their heirs, after that $1 million deduction they owe a 55% tax on the rest. most of their value is in real estate and land which is depressed. they're forced to liquidate land at suppressed prices to pay an income death within nine months of death. that is wrong and should not happen. but as senator murray said, we allow every tax treatment we have today to go back to the 2001 rates small business in america will be hit again with a tax that will force it to close
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or liquidate. it's time we understood from whence we get our strength. it's the american taxpayer as we consider them and their investment in small business we'll make better decisions and america will be better and america will be stronger. i see the senator from utah is on the floor. i'd like to turn to him. mr. lee: thank you very much. on monday we heard from democrats who insist that congress must now raise taxes of the american people. in fact, they're so committed to this task that they're willing to take the country off the fiscal cliff in order to get their way. this is unfortunate. it's unnecessary and it's a course of action that we cannot pursue. mind you, they're not trying to pursue comprehensive tax reform. no, they're not trying to fix this byzantine era of tax code which occupies tens of thousands of pages. what they're doing instead is just to raise taxes right now so that they can get their way right now, so that they can cover their shortfall that exists right now because of a
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chronic failure by congress over time to set and stick to spending priorities. well, the vast majority of republicans are committed not to raise taxes, not on anyone, and there are some very good reasons for this. first, the federal government has proven its inadequacy in this area. congress has proven time and time again that the money it takes from the american people, from hardworking taxpayers, isn't always spent carefully. in fact, it's been spending more than it takes in for so long people almost can't remember a time when congress routinely balanced its budget. this is a problem. and it's a problem that shouldn't be fixed by taxing the same people who are already paying this bill even more. now this is not the fault of the american people. and the job of fixing it lies right here in congress, not with the american people. second, from the c.b.o. to the
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i.m.f. to the federal reserve to ernst & young, experts around the world are warning of the dire economic consequences that await us if we raise taxes. and we cannot allow it to happen. we've had over $4 trillion added to the national debt during this president's administration. at the same time we've exceeded unemployment above -- we've had unemployment exceeding 8% for the last 41 consecutive months. nearly 13 million americans are currently out of work and millionaires more are underemployed and looking for more work. we can't allow this to continue. i'd adhere that there is a certain irony in the president's proposal to increase taxes on some americans while leaving the necessary tax relief in place for others. well, purporting to help hardworking americans, this approach would actually have the
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opposite effect, hurting most, many of those americans who can least afford the hit right now. a new study from ernst & young reveals he that this tax hike, a tax hike that hits some americans but not others, would kill 710,000 jobs. these are people who can't afford to lose their jobs. these are people who are living pay check to paycheck. these are not c.e.o.'s. these are not the top 1%. these are hardworking americans that cannot afford to lose a job. we can't let a tax hike bring about that kind of terrible consequence. now, democrats will assure you that their tax hikes are all about reducing the deficit. that's curious because their proposal would leave 94% of this year's deficit intact which makes it an inherently unserious proposal insofar as it relates to deficit reduction. further, the president's own
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ten-year budget, which includes massive tax increases, by the way, still adds $11 trillion to the national debt. now, i really do appreciate the fact that the president is finally talking about these issues, issues that have long gone unaddressed and need to be addressed. but he can't look the american people in the eye and tell them he's doing something about the debt when his own budget, while raising taxes, nearly doubles our already sprawling national debt over the next ten years. republicans have proposals. we have proposals to reform the tax code, to reduce the deficit and to do so in ways that will grow the economy, not cause it to contract. i've got an amendment that i hope we'll get to consider in the next week or two that would permanently keep tax rates at their current levels so that american families and businesses can know what to expect. it would also eliminate the death tax and it would stop the
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expansion of the alternative minimum tax, which is quickly becoming the middle-income penalty tax. these measures and others would go a long way, a long way toward improving our economy and getting the american people back to work again. if my friends on the other side of the aisle disagree, as is their right to do, then let's come together and work to find some common ground. but these election-year antics and distractions are not what the american people sent us here to do. and the longer we wait before enacting real reform, the worse the problem is going to get. i'd now like to turn the time over to my friend, the junior senator from missouri, who has fought long and hard on these issues, who will wrap this up for us. a senator: thank you, madam president. how much time do we have left? the presiding officer: 8 minutes and 40 seconds. mr. blunt: i'm pleased to have
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the time on the floor today to talk about these issues, the attack on small business, the idea that the private sector is doing fine, that we just need more government jobs, i just don't find anybody in america that believes that's the reality of the world we live in today. the reluctance of the senate to take votes -- mr. wicker who served in the house of representatives with mr. isakson and i, said we should have amendments. we should take votes. madam president, we should say what we're for, and we shouldn't wait until after the election to say what we're for. the reports that are out are consistent with the president's view in 2010 when he said we shouldn't do anything to change tax policy because the economy was struggling. by any measure of the economy, it's struggling more now than it was in 2010. growth in the economy is about
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half what it was when the president said with this kind of economy, we shouldn't raise taxes. and so he agreed to extend the current tax policies for two more years. but the minute we did that, we made exactly the same mistake we'd made the previous two years, which was we created a big question mark out there for the american people as to what tax policies were going to be. we already have the tax increases with the president's health care plan. and it raises the top rate to about 43%, just the top rate goes up automatically with the president's health care plan to about 43%. if we go back to the old 39 rate, we add the president's taxes in, we put an extraordinary tax on working families who for whatever reason decide that they're not going to participate in the insurance system. the mandate, the tax on that
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would weigh heavily. 50% of all that tax comes from families of four, the families that make less than $72,000, between $24,000 and $72,000 for families of four, we've decided we're going to penalize them with a tax if you voted for the president's health care plan. what are we thinking here? and why are we ignoring all of the warnings? last month the congressional budget office, the nonpartisan congressional budget office gave a rare warning that if we let the defense sequestration and the -- go into effect and return to the tax policies of 2000, that we will be in a recession, we'll see a 4% decline in growth in an economy, as i said earlier, that has more people signing up for disability than new jobs being created. already the case. and we want to take another 4% out of that economy?
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the ernst & young report that my friend from utah mentioned said that if we drive over this fiscal cliff, that one of the senate majority leaders said this week at the brookings institute the majority is prepared to drive over, that we'd lose 700,000 jobs, we'd shrink the economy by 1.3%. we'd reduce investment by 2.5%. we'd cut wages by 2%. and this is in a country where middle-class incomes have already dropped by $4,350 since the president took office. why would we be looking for another time to cut wages? why would we think that this is a better time to slow the economy down than the end of 2010? chairman bernanke from the federal reserve was here yesterday and said that we're being held back because there's so much uncertainty. we're being held back because
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people aren't making the investments. they're not taking the risks that senator wicker talked about. i'd like to go back to senator lee and talk a little more about his ideas on taxes. whenever you don't reward risks, senator hraoerbgs people don't take risks. and if they don't take risks, they don't create opportunity for others. if we look at putting this tax on small businesses, if -- putting this tax on people that otherwise might take a chance with some of their investments, we're just not going to have the risk rewards system work the way it needs to work. if you don't want people to take risk, don't reward risk. government has traditionally taxed the things it wanted to discourage and subsidized the things we want to encourage. we appear to be subsidying
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things like slindia ra that don't work, by talking about not only today's taxes but the likelihood if the current majority has its way and the president has its way, the current tax policies will go up, in fact, they're guaranteed to go up even if we stayed at the current rate because of all the health care taxes. and now senator lee, we'd also say we want to go back to a death tax that goes back to almost to a million-dollar exemption. if you're a small business or a family farm, many family farms if you just calculate the value of your farm equipment, you're suddenly at the edge of that big -- that number that sounds so big until you realize you'd have to sell the farm to pay the tax. or if you have the business that you're trying to pass along, maybe to the very people who
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stood by your side, your children and grandchildren and helped you grow that business and almost impossible to evaluate who created that growth, but when you pass away as the person that started the business, suddenly this big tax obligation falls to your family. and your proposal to eliminate the death tax would address that. the proposal that we're for on this side to continue current tax policies as we look toward an effort to have tax policies that make more sense. we've got the highest corporate rate in the world. we're seeing american companies say, well, we think we're going to incorporate in great britain, we're going to move our company, our headquarters, who we are to great britain because they have better tax policies. who would have ever thought that great britain would have better tax policies than the united states of america? but they do today, as does every other european country.
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we have managed to get at the top of the list, and in return for those lower tax rates and a system that works internationally, let's eliminate a lot of the complexity of this tax code. we're for that. but let's not increase taxes while we're having that debate. let's commit ourselves to that debate and not increase taxes, not move forward with all the new health care taxes and the taxes that apparently the majority says we're prepared to raise taxes on the middle class because then they'll put so much pressure on republicans in the senate that we'll have to eliminate some of the current tax policies that impact small businesses and other individuals. and so senator lee, you want to talk a little bit more about your -- we have now a couple of more minutes, i think. you want to help as we think about how these tax policies
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really hold back opportunity for other people. if you don't reward risk, people don't take risk. if they don't take risk, we don't have opportunity. we don't have the jobs out there in the private sector that are clearly the key. mr. lee: that's right and that's the point that often goes missing in this debate is when people talk about wanting to raise taxes on one group of americans and not -- not increasing them on another, that causes problems. and we're concerned about job creation, we're not concerned about any one particular group, we're concerned about americans as a whole. most importantly, about those most vulnerable, those who can least afford to lose their jobs. i see that our time has expired. thank you, madam president. mr. blunt: thank you and thank my colleagues for joining me and, madam president, thank you for the time on the floor.
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a senator: mr. president -- madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the staff of the finance committee be allowed on the floor for the remainder of the 112th program, amanda bartman, harun dogo, farrah freeze, neil penny and christopher tasanovicz. i have nine i ask unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate, they have the approval of the minority and majority leaders and i ask unanimous consent they be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mr. durbin: there is an adage that sunlight is the best disinfect apartment, and the reason it's an olded aage, it's true. i introduced the reduce tax haven act of 2012. i introduced this months ago. it would require candidates for federal office and certain federal employees to disclose any financial interest they or their spouses have in an offshore tax haven. if the bill becomes law, individuals who file a financial disclosure report would be required to list the identity, category of value, and location of any financial interest in a jurisdiction considered toosh a tax haven by the secretary of the treasury. the secretary would be required to provide a list of those countries to filers and to consider for inclusion on the list any jurisdiction which has been publicly identified by the i.r.s. as a -- internal revenue service as a screat jurisdiction. the american people might be
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surprised to snow that -- to know that we don't already ask whether members of congress are sheltering money offshore to avoid paying taxes in america. that's because under current law, those individuals -- that would be candidates and members of congress -- are not required to account for where their financial interests are held. candidates for federal office, including president, do not have to explicitly disclose their holdings in tax havens. the bill, which i introduced months ago, with senator franken, would change it. today it seems we have a tax system with two sets of rules. one theory those who are very wealthy and one for the rest of the people in america. the wealthiest americans are able to take advantage of certain breaks, loopholes to pay lore tax rates than -- lower tax rates than families. we shouldn't have a system where
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a candidate can claim to champion working people while that same person is secretly betting against america through tax avoidance and tax haven abuse. now, without this bill the american people will not know whether a candidate has taken advantage of foreign tax havens to avoid paying his or her fair share. offshore tax havens and other similar loopholes cost taxpayers in america $100 billion a year, which otherwise would be paid by these americans who are using these offshore tax havens. senator carl levin of michigan may be joining me shortly. i hope he can. he has held an extensive set of hearings on the permanent committee on this particular issue. no one has explored it more than senator levin of michigan. high pressurei'm hoping he can d share his findings.
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the money invested in offshore tax havens is money that could be invested in america. it could be invested in america's schools, america's roads, america's medical research, america's jobs, and it could be paying down america's deficit. instead, that money is headed to swiss bank accounts and holding companies in bermuda and the cayman islands. senator levin and senator conrad have both done extraordinary work to shine light on these practices and what they mean to the american economy. those two senators, levin and conrad, successfully included a provision in the senate transportation bill that will give the treasury department greater tools to crack down on offshore tax haven abuse. unfortunately, that provision was not included in the conference report. and so we've got to continue the fight to put an end to offshore tax haven abuse. the american people are rightly
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concerned that wealthy and well-connected americans are skirting our laws to avoid paying their taxes and they deserve to know the people who hope to represent them in washington aren't cheating the system. nothing in my bill impinges on any individual's right to hold financial interests anywhere in the world. if there is a legitimate reason for a candidate or a member of congress or any other individual who files a financial disclosure to hold their money let's say in the count -- in an account in the cayman islands, they shouldn't have any problem explaining that to the voters. but any individual who has or wants to have the public trust should be honest about the practices they've engaged in that, in fact, cost american taxpayers whom they wish to represent literally billions of dollars every single year. this is an important step that we must take to restore the public trust. i would hope that this issue
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like the one that we just finished debating in the previous several days is one that most americans will understand and it's one that should be bipartisan. i happen to have the good fortune of coming into politics being schooled by two people who were my mentors and inspired me, senator paul douglas of illinois and senator paul simon, both of whom enjoyed positive reputations at the end of their public career for being honest people. one of the things that senator douglas started doing and senator simon followed was to make public disclosure of income and net worth. they did it long before it was the law, and always did it to a greater degree in greater detail than required by law. i have followed that practice and sometimes it's been hard. i can remember coming out of law school going to work for then-lieutenant governor paul simon in springfield, illinois. there i was, deep in student loan debt with a beat-up old
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car, a wife and two babies filing an income and net worth disclosure. my first filing because of my student loan debt showed me with a negative net worth. i took a little bit of ribbing as a result of that. but i continued to do it every single year that i served on a public staff and every year i was a candidate or elected to office. so there is a rich trove for anyone who is summarily bored and wants to spend some time if they'd like to read what happens to a public official over the span of a lifetime when they're in this business in terms of their own personal wealth. there have been moments when the detail that i provided in these disclosures has been an invitation to the press. it makes their life easier to go take a look at the things that i do and my family does. i can recall when my daughter jennifer was, i got a question from a reporter what was her
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financial interest in taco bell. it turned out her financial interest was as a person working at the springfield taco bell making tacos. that's it. but because we go into detail, those things are open for investigation and provide some clarity about my financial circumstance. paul simon used to always say, when my career comes to an end, i want people to look at my record and say i never understood why he voted this way or that way. but he said i never want them to question my honesty in making a political decision. that has been my goal as well. what i'm suggesting today is to expand the disclosure which members of congress and candidates for federal office, like president of the united states, to expand the disclosure to include foreign tax havens. i think it is an important element that people who are running for office and serving in office stand and basically
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explain why they felt it was a better idea to put money, for instance, in a swiss bank account. i made a point of asking people, members of congress and business leaders, why would niniva -- why would anyone have a weus bank account? i asked warren buffett. i said you've been a successful businessman for decades. why would you have a swiss bank account? he said we have good banks in america. there are two reasons why a person has a swiss bank account. one, to conceal their wealth and how they're changing moving money around. and second, if they happen to believe the swiss franc is a stronger curran circumstance -- stronger currency than the u.s. dollar. that's it. i think if people do they should be ready to disclose it and
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explain which of those two explanations stand behind their decision. senator levin has come to the floor and i would like to yield to him. he and senator conrad probably told us more about hours lost in tax collected and what's happening in some of these tax havens and shelters around the world. and if it's appropriate at this point, consistent with the message that we're delivering, if it's all right with the senator from south carolina, if i could yield to senator levin at this point. i thank the senator for that. senator levin. mr. levin: let me thank -- the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: let me thank the senator for the leadership he's showing here again on dealing with an offshore tax haven problem. this is not a new issue. in fact, my permanent subcommittee on investigations has been exploring the damage that the secrecy of offshore tax
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havens caused for nearly two decades we've been looking at this issue, trying to change the situation that exists. it's not a new issue for senator durbin. he's been on this issue a long time. indeed when president obama was a senator from illinois, he joined in an effort to bring tax haven abuses to light. then-senator obama in 2007 said when he was an original cosponsor of the stop tax haven abuse act, which i introduced with our republican colleague, senator coleman, he said the following: that there's no such they think as a free lunch. someone has to pay always. and when a crooked business or shameless individual does not pay its fair share, the burden gets shifted to others, usually to ordinary taxpayers and working americans, without access to sophisticated tax preparers or corporate loopholes. it was a bipartisan bill. it was aimed at preventing the
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loss to taxpayers that results from tax avoidance schemes that use secret tax haven jurisdictions such as the cayman islands. the words which i just quoted remain just as true today as they were in 2007. there is indeed no free lunch here. in 2006, our subcommittee on investigations estimated that tax havens cost the treasury in the neighborhood of $100 billion a year. though we've had some successes in the battle against tax havens since then, tax dodgers and tax avoiders have continued to exploit every offshore loophole and tax haven that they can find. this has significant consequences for the rest of us. offshore tax evasion and avoidance takes money out of the hands of our military. it takes money out of programs that millions of americans rely on for good schools or roads or health care or for protecting
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the environment or for securing our borders. when money is lost to these tax havens, it belongs in our treasury, it adds to our deficits and our debt. ultimately the rest of us are forced to pay more on our tax bills to make up for those who shirk their tax-paying responsibilities. as i said, we've spent years in my subcommittee exploring this problem. in 2001 we heard testimony from a former cayman islands banker who said that 100% of his clients were avoiding or evading taxes. in 2006 we reported on some brothers from texas who over the course of 13 years stashed more than $700 million in offshore tax havens in a massive tax evasion scheme. when a company incorporates in the cayman islands or another tax haven with a mail drop as their own physical presence in
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that country, they most likely have but one purpose, and that's avoiding taxes. in 2006 we explored the history of the ugland house, a small building in the caymans that remarkably listed its headquarters for nearly 20,000 different corporations. in 2005 we showed how a seattle security firm called quelos devised a scheme of fake stock trades between two offshore companies creating phantom stock losses used to avoid taxes on billions of dollars in income. and in 2001 and 2002, we explored how enron used offshore tax havens, dozens of them, as part of its deceptive scheme. just yesterday -- just yesterday, madam president, in our subcommittee, in a hearing on the global bank called hsbc,
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on money laundering, we saw how the secrecy of tax havens such as the caymans, so often used to conceal income can also be used by criminal enterprises to conceal and launder the proceeds of their crime. hbc's mexican affiliate had an office in the caymans with thousands of u.s. dollar accounts. the bank had no client information on 41% of those accounts and internal documents, our investigation discovered, showed that the bank was aware that the accounts were being used by drug cartels and were subject to massive misuse by organized crime. these tax havens have been a pervasive problem for our treasury and for our economy and for our security. and we can stop them. and when it comes to tax avoidance, our federal fiscal situation demands that we stop them. in the past addressing offshore
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tax evasion was not a partisan issue. in 2004 congress stopped companies from taking advantage of what was called inverting. when a company inverts, it will shift its headquarters on paper to a low tax or a no-tax country. it's just on paper, though. and we decided that we were not going to allow that game to be played by american companies, and we stopped that practice. and since then every year i work with senator durbin, colleagues of both parties to ensure that these inverted companies are prohibited from receiving government contracts. if these tax dodgers can't see fit to pay their taxes, we shouldn't be giving them our tax dollars. but much more needs to be done. we could pass the stop tax haven abuse act which i've introduced again in this congress to address some of the worst offshore tax abuses and end the
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use of these tax havens that cost american taxpayers. we can pass the cut loopholes act, which senator conrad and i introduced earlier this year and which includes a number of provisions aimed at stopping offshore tax evasion and closing loopholes that allow companies to dodge their taxes. the senate earlier this year passed one important provision of the cut loopholes act. this provision is known as the special measures provision. this would have given the justice department the same tools to combat tax haven abuses that they now have to combat money laundering. unfortunately the house of representatives succeeded in stripping this commonsense provision from the surface transportation bill to which it was attached in the senate. that vote by the house allows the wealthy and powerful to continue dodging the taxes that they owe, increasing the tax
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burden on american families who abide by the law and by their tax obligations. the bill that senator durbin offers is another way that we can combat tax havens, and i thank him for this effort. simply put, his legislation would bring much-needed daylight to the use of offshore tax havens. it would require that officeholders and candidates for public office disclose their financial interests located in tax haven countries. perhaps there are some who believe that individuals and corporations should be allowed to continue concealing their income and their assets overseas, adding to the deficit and forcing the rest of us to carry their share, their own share of the burden and that of tax dodgers as well. but surely we can all agree that the american people deserve to know when their public officials are using offshore tax havens. senator durbin's bill would ensure that americans know when
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their elected representatives or candidates for office are taking advantage of the offshore tax havens. this is not about a political campaign. this is about years of effort to make visible those who shortchange their fellow citizens by concealing their financing abroad and to argue for reforms that make our tax system more fair for the vast majority of hardworking americans who pay what they owe. i yield the floor and i thank the chair. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. must remember as chairman of the committee on veterans a-- mrs. murray: i am very pleased today to speak in support of the honoring america's veterans and camp lejeune act of 2012. i want to thank my colleagues for their continuing support of our nation's veterans especially my ranking member, senator burr of north carolina, for his
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steadfast advocacy of the government's responsibility to provide health care for the veterans and family members who are stationed and have been stationed at camp lejeune. in addition, i want to thank representatives jeff miller and bob filner, chairman and ranking member on the house subcommittee on veterans affairs for their hard work in developing this bipartisan, bicameral and fully paid for legislation. with the passage of honoring america's veterans and caring for camp lejeune families act of 2012, military families who have been affected by the contaminated water at camp lejeune in north carolina will have the health care they need. these families, madam president, have waited for decades to get the assistance that they need, and they should not be forced to wait any longer. the legislation would also allow v.a. to continue a number of programs that are so critical to helping our veterans who have no place to call home. currently the v.a. can only
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provide emergency shelter services to veterans who are diagnosed with a very serious mental illness. but we all know that not all homeless veterans are mentally ill. yet, the v.a. is currently prevented from offering these critical services to all of our veterans. the honoring america's veterans and caring for camp lejeune families act of 2012 would also make much-needed improvements to v.a.'s housing programs by expanding the eligibility for v.a.'s specially adapted housing assistance grants. these are some of the most disabled veterans in our nation, and they deserve to be able to move about in their homes freely and safely. this bill will also help more veterans who use telehealth and telemedicine and allow veterans to receive travel assistance for visits to our vet centers. these provisions will especially help our veterans who live in rural and highly rural areas to get access to the v.a. it will also improve the way the v.a. reimburses state veterans
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homes for the care of elderly seriously disabled veterans. i know that every member of the senate has at least one state veteran home in their state. and without these changes, some of these homes may have to lay off staffers or be unable to accept more veterans so it is an important provision this have bill. this legislation will require important policy changes to protect veterans from sexual assault and other threats in v.a.'s in patient mental health units and homeless programs. finally, madam president, we all know veterans continue to find themselves waiting entirely too long for a decision on their claims. the legislation will address the claims backlog by providing v.a. with the ability to process appeals much more quickly and by supporting v.a.'s transformation to a paperless system. it will also make other needed improvements to the claims system, like ensuring surviving spouses receive proper and timely benefit payments.
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madam president, above all, this bill fulfills the responsibility this nation has to provide care and service to our veterans and their families. in the case of those families who spent time at camp lejeune, this bill gives sick veterans and their families the benefit of the doubt that their illness or condition was caused by the water at camp lejeune so they can finally get the health care they need. this is something that congress has done before. when an illness or a condition comes about after a veteran's service in any relationship between the veteran's current illness and their service is not readily apparent, the burden of proving that the illness is the result of one's service can be insurmountable. in such circumstances, we have presumed that a veteran's exposure caused their current condition and got them the help they needed. we have lived up to that responsibility that we owe them, which is in the core of this bill. madam president, many veterans and their families are waiting for the passage of this bill. i had hoped at this time to ask
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for unanimous consent to have it approved in the senate. our house colleagues are ready and willing to move this forward quickly as well. we did have one concern from the senator from south carolina, senator demint. we've had a very productive conversation over the last 45 minutes. i believe we now have that language resolved and have a gentleman's agreement to be able to move this bill forward today. but i'm going to give our staffs a few minutes to get the language put together so that we can pass it unanimously. and i want to thank the senator from south carolina for his work and effort to get this bill passed. i know that our veterans and their families across the nation are waiting. so we should have this bill passed by the end of the day. and madam president, i thank all of our colleagues who have worked so hard on this really critical piece of legislation. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. mr. demint: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. demint: i want to thank the chairman for her hard work as well as the staff of the committee, representative jeff miller and others who've worked on this bill. i am very supportive of the
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underlying bill and i appreciate your willingness to consider the modification that would make sure the veterans who deserve these benefits get them and they're not taken advantage of by fraud from others who don't deserve it. and i think the modification you and i have talked about will solve that problem and hopefully we can get this bill agreed to this afternoon. i yield back, madam president. mrs. murray: madam president, thank you. and i thank the senator and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. kohl: i ask consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kohl: madam president, i'm here today to talk about the state of manufacturing in this country, how we can do better and how we can create more jobs here at home. the bring jobs home act is a good bill that will help keep jobs in this country and help businesses bring more jobs back here home. it would be especially good for manufacturing and manufacturing, as we you will know is a critical part of our economy. a healthy manufacturing sector is key to better jobs, rising productivity, and higher standards of living. every individual and industry depends on manufactured goods and the production of these goods creates the quality jobs
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that keep so many american families healthy and strong. that is why we need continued investment in the manufacturing extension partnership, or m.e.p., as it is called. created in 1994, m.e.p. is not just a federal government funded program. m.e.p. is unique in that it is funded almost equally between the states, fees paid by companies that use m.e.p., as well as the federal government. each year, a bipartisan effort led by senator snowe, senator lieberman, and myself has worked to secure funding for this important program. m.e.p. is the only public-private program dedicated to providing technical support and services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers, helping them provide quality jobs for american working people. m.e.p. is a nationwide network of proven resources that helps
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manufacturers compete nationally as well as globally. simply put, m.e.p. helps manufacturers grow sales, increase profits, and hire more workers. throughout our country, day in and day out, m.e.p. is working with small- and medium-sized manufacturers to keep jobs here and also helping existing businesses bring their outsourced jobs back to the united states. so let me say that again because it bears repeating. each day m.e.p. is working with manufacturers to keep jobs here and bring their outsourced jobs back to the united states. our small- and medium-sized manufacturers face different challenges than larger compani companies, especially in this tough economy. the improvements that come to a business from working with an m.e.p. center can make the difference between profitability
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or shutting their doors. you would be hard-pressed to find another program that has produced the results that m.e.p. has. in fiscal year 2010, the most recent data available, m.e.p. clients across the united states reported over 60,000 new or retained workers, sales of $8.2 billion, cost savings of $1.3 billion and plant and equipment investments of $1. $1.9 billion. and in a sign of how strong manufacturing is in wisconsin, the wisconsin m.e.p. is opening up a third office in my state, this time in milwaukee. the milwaukee region, which ranks number two among the nation's top 50 metropolitan areas for manufacturing employment and seeing high growth in the food processing,
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equipment manufacturing and industrial controls field. these businesses want to create jobs and grow here in the united states and they are turning to m.e.p., a public-private partnership to help them compete in the global economy. since 1996, wisconsin m.e.p. has helped over 1,300 wisconsin manufacturers make nearly $400 million in improvements in technology, productivity, and profits, helping to generate $2 billion in economic impact, and creating or saving over 14,000 manufacturing jobs. many people seem to think that the decline of american manufacturing is inevitable. these critics point to high wages and claim that those make us uncompetitive worldwide. i do not agree. look at germany and japan, two countries with high-wage
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structures, and yet both have a larger manufacturing sector as a portion of their economy than we do. so higher wages are not why we trail germany and japan in manufacturing. we have failed to invest in manufacturing and employee training sufficiently to keep up with global competition and that is the problem. we do have the tools and the programs available to help grow our economy and bring jobs back to the united states. workers in wisconsin and across the country stand ready to get back to work. programs like m.e.p. help companies do the right thing for both their country as well as their bottom line. because betting on the american worker is still the best investment in the world. thank you and, madam president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended and that i be recognized. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: madam president, rarely do i come to the floor of this body to discuss particular individuals but i understand how painful and injurious it is when a person's character, reputation and patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. it's for that reason that i come to the floor today to speak
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regarding the attacks recently on a fine and decent american, huma abadeen. over the past decade, i've had the pleasure of knowing her during her long and dedicated service to hillary rodham clinton, both in the united states senate and now in the department of state. i know huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hardworking and loyal servant of our country and our government who has devoted countless days of her life to advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. that she has done so while maintaining her character stick decency, warmth and good -- characteristic decency, warmth and good humor is a testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence. put simply, huma abadeen represents what's best about
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america. the daughter ofho has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the american ideals that she .odies i am proud to know her and i am proud, even maybe with some presumption, to call her my friend. recently it has been alleged that huma amadeen, a muslim-american, is part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the united states by unduly influencing u.s. foreign policy at the department of state in favor of the muslim brotherhood and other islamist causes. on june 13, five members of congress wrote to the deputy inspector general of the department of state demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that huma abadeen and other american officials are using their influence to promote the cause
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of muslim brotherhood within the u.s. government. the information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report -- quote -- "the muslim brotherhood in america," which is produced by the center for security policy. and i'd like to point out, i have worked with the center for security policy. the head of it is a longtime friend of mine. but still, this report is -- is scurrilous. to say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. it is far better and more accurate to talk straight. these allegations about huma amadeen and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated american, and a loyal public servant.
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the letter alleges that three members of huma's family are -- quote -- "connected to muslim brotherhood operatives and/or organizations." never mind that one of these individuals, huma's father, passed away two decades ago. the letter in the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision or a public position that huma has taken while at the state department or as a member of then-senator clinton's staff that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-american activities within our government. nor does either document offer any evidence of a direct impact that huma may have had on one of the u.s. policies with which the authors of the letter and the producers of the report find fault. these sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and
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unsubstantiated associations of members of huma's family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the united states in any way. these attacks have no logic, no basis, and no merit and they need to stop. they need to stop now. ultimately what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. this is about who we are as a nation and who we aspire to be. what makes america exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sector or ethnicity but by a set of enduring universal and equal rights that are the foundations of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry and our identity. when anyone, not least a member of congress, launches specious

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